Cutting, Outside the Pen
In April of 2010, Holly Francois spent time preparing Reys Desire for her husband, Lee, to ride in the Open finals at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes. At this year’s event, the scene was nearly identical, only it was Francois's daughter, Sydney Roland, and Reys Desire’s daughter, Desires Time, in the loping pen.
Francois believes the similarities between Reys Desire (Dual Rey x Playguns Desire x Playgun) and Desires Time (by One Time Pepto) are clear.
“She was a little funny, even through her 6-year-old year,” said Francois of Reys Desire, who clinched the NCHA Super Stakes Open title with Lee in 2010, the Classic Open title the following year and accumulated $409,851 in the show pen. “She would shake her head around and even when I would ask her to lope a little bit right before Lee showed her, she would kick out. I would think she wasn’t ready, but he taught me to just ignore all of that, especially when we showed her at the [NCHA] Futurity and realized what a show horse she was.
“I will watch ‘Syd’ getting [Desires Time] ready, and it looks just like her mom. I have gotten like six text messages saying that same thing. I have gotten on her just a couple of times and I laugh because she does the same headshake. We were so blessed to have her mom.”
Francois thought the work ethic and heart of Reys Desire was something she wouldn’t see again, but she is happy those qualities were passed on to the mare’s daughter. At this year's NCHA Super Stakes, Desires Time was focused when Lee walked her to the herd, and the pair impressed the crowd from the first cut. Although she fell briefly during her second cow, she stayed hooked and tried to finish the run as if nothing happened.
“I didn’t think we would come across another one like her, but I sure think we have one right now,” Francois said. “Those mares have so much heart and so much try. It is just hard to beat that.”
“She is a very sweet and caring mare,” Roland said of Desires Time. “She's a lot like her mom. She's pretty goofy about some things, but I think all good horses are. She always wants to please you in and out of the show pen. I can't say enough good things about her!”
Roland feels lucky to have the opportunity to take after her mom and lope horses for her dad, and she wouldn’t trade the time she spends with her family for anything.
“It’s a huge honor to get horses ready for my dad,” Roland said. “There's no better feeling in the world than when all of our hard work pays off. I wouldn't trade my lifestyle for anything. I love working with horses. My relationship with my parents is very good because I work with them every day.”
“She believes so strongly in her dad and his program that she gives it her best,” Francois said of her 19-year-old daughter. “She has an amazing work ethic. She is the first one there every morning. She has so much passion for it and loves the animals so much. We wouldn’t trade what we do for anything. It is hard at times because we never get a break, but it has brought us so close. It is not just a job. It is a way of life for us.”